Forbidden Planet will be hosting a signing with artist Jeff Zornow in celebration of his new comic 68: Rule of War #1 (Image) on the day of its release. Jeff will be on hand from 7:30 to sign and sketch the night away on April 2nd. Blank variant covers of the book will be available, so don’t miss the chance to jump on a great new series and have a personalized cover drawn by the very man who made it. See you then!
This idea of color as something other than coding is nothing new, and since the days of Frank Santoro’s “Sirk” and even earlier with Françoise Mouly’s and Spiegleman’s RAW Magazine, cartoonists have been figuring out ways around the limited printing technology we’ve had at hand. Without delving in too deep with the history of its induction, and the restrictions that were placed upon it by the technology of the time, color in comics has come a long way. So much so that it’s no longer has to be a simple device to differentiate between characters and objects, it now has the opportunity to be something more.
Dash Shaw’s latest book New School is a prime example of this. If you haven’t picked this book up yet you’re doing yourself a disservice. New School, apart from being a deftly crafted work of mostly fiction, Dash uses color like no other comic every really has. Spreading shapes and patterns full of different color underneath his black line art, sometimes covering the page and other times intersecting across panels, leaving some space blank and other parts full of vibrant patterns, there is a unique abstraction that happens. The experience of it is jarring at first, as a reader automatically can’t help but wonder what the artist’s intention is with this approach to applying color. But as you progress through the narrative (the narrative being presented in a expedient manner) you stop questioning why the color is the way it is and let it do what it was intended for.
Dash is setting up color to be like an orchestra. A counter melody to the black and white line work that is the “guts” of the story. The story itself is presented clearly in what Dash calls his “dumb line, a term he said to have come from David Mazzucchelli, to describe a line whose quality is unsure of what it is representing. If the book had been printed in just black and white the reader would understand it without the color, so in not having the story hinge on the color component of the comic, Dash is afforded the opportunity to experiment. This goers back to the Dash’s idea of the orchestra. The line work is the guts of the song, but the color is that rich counter melody that brings a fullness to it’s sound. Instances of bright and vibrant color’s being like cymbal crashes and allowing the intensity of the color (or lack of it) act like crescendos and decrescendos, adding to the complexity of the story/song. He visual shows these layers, as the physical quality of the pages with color show the obviousness of the separation of the line work and the color, like two instruments in a band. Think Henry Rollins barking vocals vs. Greg Ginn’s guitar, two parts of one whole.
For brevities sake, I won’t take about the physical quality of the painted color, or the mark making, or the way that the patterns Dash would paint in the page reflect in terms of iconography, shapes in the guts of the page, thus heightening the emotional quality of the what’s already taking place at that moment in the stories time. Those are things that can only come from spending some time with New School, and I think it behooves any comic’s enthusiast to do so. But I would be woefully dismayed to not talk about how Dash has introduced a digestible abstraction to a medium which (for the most part) is about clarity.
Will Eisner said that in being a cartoonist you are not afforded the same spontaneity that say a painter has. Apart from the literally thousands of successful comics that prove this contention wrong, Eisner would still have been right if he amended that statement with “in a classical story telling sense.” That is until New School. Dash has opened up the possibility of how in juxtaposing abstract shapes of color and patterning against clear and concise black and white storytelling, that you can breathe the life force that is spontaneity into a medium whose normal working methods are as anal retentive as a Klingon (sorry I didn’t have a better joke).
This, whatever you want to call it, barely scratches the surface of what Dash accomplishes in New School, but hopefully imparts some idea of the next level thinking that is available in this book. So go buy it. Preferable here.
May 22nd marks the public release of the first issue of a wild and fascinating comic collaboration. Occupy Comics #1 will be on shelves and we at Forbidden Planet recommend everyone get it. This is not only a comic that features the likes of Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, David Lloyd, Charlie Adlard, Marc Andreyko, Kevin Colden, Molly Crabapple, J.M. DeMatteis, Joshua Dysart, Brea Grant, Joe Keatinge, George Krstic, Joseph Michael Linsner, B. Clay Moore, Steve Niles, Laurie Penny, Matt Pizzolo, Steve Rolston, Riley Rossmo, Douglas Rushkoff, Tim Seeley, Simon Spurrier, and Ben Templesmith. It’s not just a time capsule of radical ideas/stories for/about change. And, most importantly, its not just quick way for some people to make quick and easy money like some other comic publishers that shall remain nameless. DC. This is a book about one of the most culturally significant happenings in this country in a long time and whether you agree with its ideals or not makes it no less poignant. So in honor of this achievement in the choice of medium we have decided to peddle we will be having a signing with Dean Haspiel, Ron Wimberly, Ben Templesmith, Ales Kot, and Matt Pizzolo on May 22nd at 6:30pm. Come get your copy and get it signed by all these artists and writers who created something larger than themselves about a movement that was bigger than anyone anticipated.All proceeds from the book’s sales go to current Occupy initiates such as Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt. Read comics that matter.
Ben Templesmith WILL NOT be in attendance on Wednesday’s Signing due to some unavoidable circumstances. Ben however WILL be stopping by to sign copies of Occupy Comics #1 and Ten Grand #1 so we WILL have SIGNED Ben Templesmith comics in abundance just not the person. Our’s and Ben’s sincerest apologies.
Elastic City, a non-profit arts organization that presents participatory walks by artists throughout and outside of New York and they’re having one of these “walks” next Thursday. Roz Chast who works as a cartoonist for The New Yorker will be there making live drawings. The event will feature heralded sound artist Maria Chavez on the turntables, sensory-based walks throughout the venue by Elastic City artists, lighting designed by Jon Torres and a special take-away from designer Riley Hooker. Throughout the evening expert bartenders from Brooklyn’s Clover Club, JakeWalk and Death & Company will call upon attendees’ collective senses of taste and smell to devise a signature Elastic City cocktail. There will be an open bar, a variety of hors d’oeuvres and desserts from local restaurants, a raffle and a silent auction. Below are a few important event details:
Date: Thursday May 23, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Location: Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, EFA Project Space (323 West 39th St., 2nd Floor; Manhattan)
Tickets: $40 for admission to the event with open bar; $150 for admission to the event with open bar, a fantastic gift bag, a gift certificate for 2 spots on any Elastic City walk, and an 8×10 photo of your liking from our archives.
Purchase tickets: http://elasticcity.brownpapertickets.com
Elastic City Blog with Event Details: http://www.elastic-city.org/blog/elastic-city-spring-benefit
There’s beer and cartoons, what more do you want.
Wednesday May 1st at Forbidden Planet, JOE HARRIS; writer of GREAT PACIFIC, will be in store signing copies of the first volume in this new Image comics epic. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL (is it ever…), we’re also offering 40% off the trade all day on May 1st. AND! And…and everyone who buys the trade that day also will get a coupon for for 40% issue #7, the first issue that follows the trade! Don’t miss this one folks it’s gunna’ be GREeeaat.
Can’t make it to the signing on May 1st? Don’t fret, we always have you covered at FP. Pre-order your copy of Great Pacific Volume 1 at fpnyc.com and we’ll mail it, signed and everything! Arn’t we swell? And at a trade that has six issues in it and only costs $5.00, and is one of Image comics new best selling titles, why wouldn’t you get it? Seriously email why you wouldn’t get this deal to “firstname.lastname@example.org,” he’ll want to know.
On Saturday March 9th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. “BATH SALT ZOMBIES ” the incredibly wild new independent horror film, will be throwing a release party at FORBIDDEN PLANET! The film is brought to you by Aggronautix , featuring Local NYC punk band World War IX.
Members of the band will be on hand with copies of their new EP “Off The Wagon” featuring the Bath Salt Zombies theme song. Guitar player Justin Melkmann will also be showcasing his newest comic book Ear Aches and Eye Sores #4, Melkmann’s Slap in the Face My Obsession with GG Allin has always been a big hit on Forbidden Planet’s indie rack when available.
From 8 to 9 singer Filth Phil will be recording live in the store for his weekly podcast Dispatches From The Underground so come on down for a chance to be on the show!
Later that night join the band in Brooklyn for a Midnight Screening of Bath Salt Zombies at The Spectacle Theater hosted by the fine folks at Horror Boobs. Spectacle Theater is located at 124 S.3rd Street (near Bedford Ave) Williamsburg, admission is 5 dollars.
Check out the full official press release…
BATH SALT ZOMBIES
NYC Premiere Events – March 9th
Signing at Forbidden Planet (832 Broadway – NYC) from 7PM to 9PM
Screening Spectacle Theater (124 S.3rd Street – Williamsburg) at Midnightwith special appearance byWORLD WAR IX
$5 screening admission includes free download card of killer punk rock soundtrack featuring: The Dwarves, The Meatmen, ANTiSEEN, The Murder Junkies + more!
Balt Salt Zombies is simply a creative and chaotic caper from a pretty prolific artist coming into his own. – Patrick Dolan, RUE MORGUE
Bath Salt Zombies is a new horror film directed and co-written by Dustin Wayde Mills (Puppet Monster Massacre, Zombie A-Hole, Ballad of Skinless Pete) and produced and co-written by Clint Weiler of Aggronautix. The movie sensationalizes the recent bath salt epidemic and the attacks surrounding them.On March 9th at Forbidden Planet, starting at 7PM writer/producer Clint Weiler and members of the band World War IX will be on hand for signings. The band will be signing copies of their new EP “Off The Wagon” featuring the Bath Salt Zombies theme song. Guitar player Justin Melkmann will also be showcasing his newest comic book Ear Aches and Eye Sores #4, Melkmann’s Slap in the Face My Obsession with GG Allin has always been a big hit on Forbidden Planet’s indie rack when available.Also, a VERY limited edition VHS of Bath Salt Zombies will be available at the signing. Collectors of this medium will no doubt want one.At 8PM, singer Filthy Phil will be recording live in the store for his weekly podcastDispatches From The Underground so come on down for a chance to be on the show.Later that night join the band in Brooklyn for a Midnight Screening of Bath Salt Zombies at The Spectacle Theater hosted by the fine folks at Horror Boobs. Spectacle Theater is located at 124 S.3rd Street (near Bedford Ave) Williamsburg, admission is 5 dollars.“Although the film is somewhat of a black comedy, I wanted to portray the real power of drugs in a horror story… Dustin was able to pull it off with ease,” said Weiler who wrote the treatment for the film and worked on the basic characterization.
“It’s off the wall comic book insanity with blood, gore, nudity, martial arts, gunfights, and a mutant jack-chi,” said Mills. “You should check your brain at the door and prepare to have your face melted off.”
Present day, United States… The bath salts epidemic facing the southern and mid-western US has been stifled by an unprecedented government crackdown. Head shops have been raided and shut down, component imports from the UK, India and China have been completely stopped, and aggressive penalties for users have been instated. This has led to a tremendous amount of surplus stock hidden by black market dealers, and a migration of those dealers (and in turn, users) to the northeast and other areas. In New York City, potent strands have surfaced and have attracted the most devoted bath salt junkies. In an attempt to outsell said strands, a young aspiring chemist has developed and even stronger batch… but something has gone horribly wrong. The new ultra potent bath salt batch has revealed a major side effect… It turns users into violent flesh seeking “zombies.” When the zombies are high on balt salts, they are completely unaware of their actions and they seem to float in and out of consciousness. When they kill / eat people, they are unaware of what has happened when they come down off the drug. The drug is also more addictive than other forms, and users feel the need to stay constantly high due to the fact they become incredibly feeble when sober. They come down HARD.
FACTS ABOUT THE BATH SALT EPIDEMIC:
Traditional “bath salts” consist of a combination of amphetamine-like chemicals, mainly mephedrone, MDPV and methylone. Users of the drug have reported feeling incredibly hot, which is why many get naked (in this case, it gives us cause for female nudity). They also develop superhuman strength (it can take five or six men to restrain them) and become so manic and delusional that the term “excited delirium” is being used by the medical community to describe their mental state. The shocking wave of attacks has sparked fears of a real-life zombie outbreak in the south. This led to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releasing a statement saying it is not aware of any virus that can cause zombie-like behavior. A spokesman said: “MDPV is an illegal and harmful drug and stiff penalties are in place for people who possess or supply it. Drugs ruin lives which is why we are taking tough action against dealers and criminal gangs and helping people to free themselves from the cycle of dependency.”
STARRING: Brandon Salkil, Josh Eal, Ethan Holey, Dave Parker, Jackie McKown, and more.
I love Chris Ware. Bit redundant to say so this holiday season with everyone and their sister buying Building Stories, but with so much comic awesomeness that happened in 2012; between Charles Burn’s second installment to his X’ed Out trilogy, The Hive, and Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga…SAGA… It’s too easy for amazing comics to get lost in the stacks, so I’m here to give my somewhere around the number 10 best comics of 2012 that nobody told you about…
Michael DeForge might be the most prolific cartoonist working right now. He pumps more work and at a higher quality that would make any other cartoonist want to quit, or work harder…..no quit thats the correct response. On top of Lose #4 this year you can also see his work in the pages of Adventure Time comics, where he does the backgrounds,variant covers, anthology stories in Nobrow 7 (more on that in a bit) and the newest KUS, not to mention his on going serial Ant Comics, oh and his porn comic that he designs that features work by Johnny Negron, Brandon Graham, and Jillian Tamaki….more on all of them latter too…Bottom line, DeForge has a hand in everything and you’re probably a fan of his already, so read Lose, or Ant comics, or KUS, or Nobrow, or one of the million other things he worked on this year. King of comics 2012 goes to DeForge, no contest.
The Underwater Welder
Did I mention that DeForge is Canadian? Canadians….must be a universal sigh when cartoonist’s who aren’t Canadian talk about them. Jeff Lemire is another cartoonist hailing from The Great White North. Lemire had a full year of releases with Sweet Tooth Volume 4 and 5, the reprinting of his Xeric grant book Lost Dogs and Underwater Welder. Underwater Welder is for lovers of well paced, clear story telling, and the Twilight Zone. Lemire has an economy to his comics, the art is quick yet purposeful in the same manner as the writing, which rewards the reader with a world that they can envelope themselves in. Lemire is an odd school of cartooning, he’s not so deep into independent styled comics as DeForge, but he isn’t mainstream either (though he does write the only two books at DC still worth reading Animal Man, & Frankenstein Agent of Shade ). He’s a cartoonist in love with genre but doesn’t mistake comics to be only that.
Nipper Volume 3
Nipper Volume 3 finally came out! WOOOOOOO! I might be the only American to love Nipper so go buy it and prove my gross presumption wrong. Keeping in theme with brilliant Canadian cartoonists, Nipper volume 3 is the Canadian version of Family Circus, if Family Circus was anything like a real family and not so adorable that even your grandmother finds it lame. Always silent, black and white line work with one beautiful saturation of red dropped into each panel, Doug Wright creates multi-layered story telling, in the most simple yet still incredible complicated drawing. Just go look already, and then come meet me for coffee to talk about it, I’ll be here till next year trying to describe why it’s so effffffing smart.
Diary Comics 4
Dustin Harbin is yet another broken hearted cartoonist, upset that his nationality isn’t Canadian. Diary Comics 4 starts with Dustin talking about how amazing it is to be in attendance at the Doug Wright rewards (the Canadian version of the Eisners), and how he wishes we as American could take comics as seriously as they do. Why can’t we folks? Dustin’s beautifully minimalist drawings deceive readers with their simplicity, when they are really just the right amount of information needed, each mark done with purpose in mind and simply decroative. Go read em’ they’re good. And if your not a fan of memoir, you just like the punching and kicking comics, he did letter Casanova sooo…..I don’t know Matt Fraction wrote Iron Man for like a century right? See the full picture of creators not just the characters you like….
Pope Hat #3
Pope Hat #3 by Ethan Rilly. Rilly is surprise surprise, another Canadian. Pope Hats is technically 3 issues deep but you really only need/want two and three. In Pope Hats Rilly tells the story of Franny, a young law clerk at a massive law firm, picture Wall Street with less Charlie Sheen….okay no Charlie Sheen, just that one part where he gets punched in the face by Michael Douglas… Rilly drawings show traces of his influences but they don’t unhinge the story. You can see traces of Doug Wright’s drapery in the clothing, and bits of Shultz popping up in the rendering of grass and clouds. It’s like a love letter to days past when cartooning was a profession and getting a weekly strip in a newspaper was the dream. Pope Hats narrative shares a similar tone of nostalgia with its drawing, that bitter sweet pain, from an old wound.
Thats the end of Part 1. Part 2 on Sunday 12/23/12.
Nobrow, an independent comics publisher based out of England that has been producing some of the finest comics this young reader has read in his 20 years of pictorial consumption, and are well worth seeking out. But more to the point, Luke Pearson accomplishes something in this comics mere 34 pages, that many couldn’t in 340.
Remember being a kid and looking out your window at night, watching the moon hang in limbo, and in your peripherals you see a figure pass by without a sound, and sure as you turn in quick session to catch it, it’s already traveled far out of sight? Or the feel of a black hand slide itself over your tongue and spit venom at the one you love for no other reason rather than that’s what it was there to do? “Everything We Miss” sets a theater to these moments in life; the times when you’re sure that you are alone and that no one is watching, where you do the things most innate. A man naked in a mirror trying to remember if there was a time before he let himself go, a boy’s futile attempts to be the person she wants and not the person he is, and a girl who slips by unnoticed, which is exactly what she wants.
Luke Pearson’s voice is sound throughout and invites us stare on in voyeuristic form to see how ghosts see. In short, and to concluded with corny gusto: “Everything We Miss” shouldn’t be missed.